After weeks of speculation (and days of hyping it more than a new Lady Gaga CD), I’m finally breaking down and writing about the coronavirus. For those of you who have been living under a rock lately and aren’t familiar with the story (and for that I am eternally jealous), the coronavirus is a viral strain that appears to have started in China and has the potential to wipe out all life on Earth for centuries to come…or maybe it’s just like the flu. There are certain symptoms related to it, such as coughing, fever, shortness of breath, being overly pessimistic about the way the government is handling the situation, and being enough of a jerk to wish people of different political ideologies would contract it.
The first three are symptoms of people who have coronavirus. The latter two are symptoms of people who watch waaaaaaaay too much cable TV and Internet.
Seriously, the coronavirus has turned seemingly normal people into frothing-at-the-mouth lunatics whose humanity is more in question than Shawn King’s lineage. (As an aside, Shawn, I’m a Midwestern guy, and have more legit street cred than you do. Take your cul de sac cred and admit you’re Edgar Winter with some blush applied.) I have seen people on the Left wishing this on President Donald Trump and people on the Right wishing it on Nancy Pelosi, and few people outside the ideological Thunderdome are calling it out because then they would get targeted by these groups.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the media are hyping the story at every turn, even managing to put a little top-spin on their reporting to make the coronavirus outbreak look like it’s President Trump’s fault. Granted, some of the actions he’s taken on it have been slow and seemingly ignorant, but for someone who is thought of as being a fighter, the President hasn’t really been fighting back. He’s let the media paint a narrative that makes him look like, well, Donald Trump, or at least their version of him.
And when the media aren’t trying to Simon Bar Sinister up the President, they’re rushing out stories that would make H. P. Lovecraft cower in a corner asking for a plush C’thulu to hold. In turn, this worries people who still trust the media and sends them into a panic, buying up surgical masks at prices that could only gouge you more if they were literally screwed onto your face. And when there are shortages, the media report the shortage, which drives even more hysteria and worry. It’s gotten so bad, people are on record (seriously, I fear) as saying the coronavirus is caused by Corona Beer. If this is what the media are doing now, I can only imagine what will happen during Sweeps Week!
In trying to wrap my head around the various moving parts of this story, I came to one conclusion: this is not normal, kids. This is as far away from normal as I am from winning Mr. Universe, unless they start judging dad bodies instead of musculature. Then, I might have a shot. And after reading what people post online, I need a shot of booze to steady my nerves. And remember, a good number of these people can legally vote in the upcoming Presidential election. The tension is mounting to real-estate-brokers-trying-to-sell-property-along-the-Gaza-Strip-for-nothing-but-commission levels.
In fact, I’ve coined a term for what’s going on right now on the Left and Right where they treat each other worse than Ike treated Tina. I call it Coronavirus Fever. Put simply, it’s hypochondria with multiple social media platforms on blast. To determine if you have Coronavirus Fever, answer these simple questions:
– Do you find yourself Tweeting every single news item you hear about the coronavirus to people who are friends of friends of friends so they can be up on the latest hot takes?
– Are you boycotting Panda Express, not because their food sucks, but because you’re afraid they’re in league with the Chinese government to spread the coronavirus here?
– Are you checking WebMD every 15 minutes to determine if you have the coronavirus and being relieved when you think it only says you have cancer?
– Have you started drinking hand sanitizer to fight off the coronavirus?
– Has the CDC blocked you on social media for “asking too many questions”?
If you’ve said yes to any or all of these, you have Coronavirus Fever. Oh, and you’re an idiot. Do you know the most effective way of fighting coronavirus or a good chunk of illnesses for that matter?
Wash your hands.
I’m not saying to take it to Howard Hughes levels, but use a little common sense, soap and water, and hand sanitizer (on your hands, not your innards). And if you feel sick, even a little, stay home and rest. Whatever it is you think you have to do today will still be there tomorrow. And for the love of Pete, think before you post! Not every nugget of what passes for news these days is important, and not everybody in what passes for news is trustworthy. Read up a bit, take a breath, figure out if what you’re intending on posting will help or hurt the situation, and act accordingly. (No, this does not mean post anyway.)
If you do these things, we will find a cure for the Coronavirus Fever in our lifetimes. Just in time for something else to kill us all. Cheers!